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25 Ways to Get Yourself into the Press

Press Coverage Gets You in Front of

a Huge NEW Group of People – 

Press with your nameI’ve talked about how to get free PR coverage in a previous post, but this article will give you more great ideas for getting the press to notice and write about you. Why do you care? Because 66% of adults over 35 have read a newspaper this week, and 49% of adults 18-34. Because the press can give you angles beyond your straight sales message. Personal interest stories make you real — they establish a relationship.

I came across a really good blog recently, and when I asked if I could feature several of their posts, the editor, Marc Prosser, sent me this one exclusively for us!  Many thanks to Fit Small Business for their excellent help (and I have added my comments in color).

1) Do a study

Many people enjoy being participants in studies for the extra cash they can earn. By hosting one for your own business, you reach a whole new audience of people that both promote and participate in studies.

2) Hold an event

Whether it be a golf tournament or weekend cookout, hosting an event with entertainment will bring in many new faces to your company. From there you can promote your business’ products or services while the potential clients are in a comfortable setting. (People really enjoy whacky events — our little town in Kansas had a cowchip throwing contest that got huge attention, so do something FUN!)

3) Speak at a conference

Businesses send groups of employees from all over the world to conferences specific to their field. Instead of being the ‘little guy’ walking around listening to speakers and trying to network, why not step on the stage yourself? Not only will your words help promote your business, but your name and company will be on the list of speakers sent out to numerous companies. (You can also volunteer to help at a conference — you’ll meet so many more people if you’re manning the registration desk.)

4) Work with a local charity

Now more than ever, charities are a must. Whether you are a large corporation, small business, or even a famous musician, people expect part of your income to go to charity. Find a local one to partner up with so whenever they have events, post news, etc, your business’ name will be right along with them as a sponsor. (There are regulations – click here to read more.)

5) Use weird, yet relevant statistics

When promoting your company, find ways to thread in statistics that although may not mean much, will catch the eye of consumers. Remember things like sex sell, so why not find a way to implement topics of this nature into statistics relating back to your company. (Statista has made a whole business of this and they are happy to share their graphs free, like this one, if you give credit:)Statistic: Most Grammy-winning albums of all time as of 2014 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

6) Be the first in your industry

Whether it is going green or promoting gay rights, find something your industry that is lacking and be the first one to jump on it. Think back to when car companies first started making hybrids – the first one released got the most press.

7) Grab the attention of the media

Although the best press will be through journalists and articles relating your field, getting the attention of any type of press can help. Create some type of media stunt where the sole goal is to bring the media to you. The crazier the promotions, the better. The media craves for new wild stories. (I once participated in a pie throwing contest, and we got some of the media to get in the ring with us.)

8) Think of an interesting angle for your story

No one likes a copycat. From the beginning your business should offer unique features, but once it is up and running you can’t fall into line with the competition. Make sure the way you promote and sell your product or services stands out among the crowd.

9) Create a press release

Press releases are no longer attempts to get writers to post about you. These press releases need to be able stand on their own as articles. In order for this to work the releases need news and popular topics placed strategically throughout them so not only does your company and its message get seen, it also gains traction because of the news tied to it. (Learn how to write a press release – it’s not hard.)

10) Use a Press Release Distribution Service

As great as a press release can be, it may end up reaching only a small group of people. By using a distribution service you release will be seen by a larger audience, therefore increasing press. (Just Google “press release distribution” and you’ll be amazed at the choices.)

11) Try new things, be spontaneous

Although it may sound clichéd and outdated, the people that try new things are those that succeed and change the industry. Even if your new ideas turn out to be failures, the press loves bleeding edge ideas no matter what the field.

12) Become a source for your industry – HARO

Reporters are always looking for inside sources, so why not become one yourself? There are a few options to help connect you with reporters, but HARO is the most popular. Once you find a topic related to your business, contact the reporter and become a source. (I did this last week and got published! It’s easy.)

13) Invite a reporter out to dinner with you

Reporters can help your company grow, or tear it apart entirely so get on their good side by taking them out to dinner. In the long run they will have positive things to say about your business because they’ll know more about it and you. (Find out more about THEM and they’ll think you’re great.)

14) Go after awards

People appreciate quality products and services. Even if you offer these, an award can help solidify your company. Review sites and magazines love posting about the best of the best – by gaining awards, you put yourself in a position to be recognized by the masses. (After you win, be sure to mention it in every email and communication so that people know about it.)

15) Become an Inc 5000 business

woman in pressInc 5000 businesses are the fastest growing businesses. Although difficult to reach, it is definitely a goal worth striving for. If you have enough growth and speed to a gain a spot on the list, the press you’ll get from being on the list will launch your company farther, helping you grow exponentially.

16) Take advantage of social media

Social media rules the web whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Take advantage of the online marketing platform by creating intriguing posts that don’t necessarily pertain to your field, but will yield great traffic and even potentially go viral. (I have  friends that do this so well — they never mention their business; they just share funny or interesting things.)

17) Offer specials relative to local sporting events

Whether you have a local professional or college sports team near your company, use it to your advantage. Connect with the teams to create promotions when the team wins or scores a certain number of points. Not only will you get advertising at the games, but you’ll have a new set of enthusiastic customers.

18) Focus on customer service

Poor customer service can be a deal breaker for many consumers, so make sure yours is above and beyond the competition. Go out of your way to make customers feel at home and welcome. Then ask your happy customers to share their experiences in online forums, social media, and direct word of mouth.

19) Create multimedia content i.e. YouTube videos

Ever see videos made by sports teams where they make a rap music video or pull a prank on a teammate? Many of the teams that do this aren’t very popular to begin with, but the funny videos help get them press on sport related websites. Apply these same techniques with your business to create more exposure. (Or do videos at the games of special plays and put the videos on your facebook page or web.)

20) Don’t pitch, ask

Similar to taking a reporter out for dinner, you want to get on the good side of PR teams and press. Instead of cold calling and pitching your company right off the bat, flatter them by asking for advice and creating a more friendship-based relationship. Once established, you can move into pitching and asking for better press coverage.

21) Be open and honest about your company

The press can really tear apart a company that hides their inner workings from the public. Not only does it look shady, but it makes companies appear less personable. Make sure to always be honest and forthcoming. This way reporters and press can promote you for being an approachable and trustworthy source.

22) Create a blog

Free PR  Write a Press Release  Oh Nooooooo   AdHelper copyBy creating a blog and posting on a consistent basis, you can help earn yourself the merit of being an industry expert in your field. If your company just sits there waiting, customers are unsure of the quality of your product or service. A blog is great outlet to discuss topics in your field and gain credibility. (For information on blogging for fun, fame, and fortune, click here!)

23) Link to reporters through your blog

Now that you have a blog and some excellent content, add some links and quotes of reporters in your field. Make sure they are positive and full of compliments. Reporters will see the good publicity they are receiving from you and return the favor.

24) Connect with radio talk shows

Radio is not dead. Many local talk shows have dedicated fan bases that listen on their way to and from work. Come up with several pertinent subjects that you could discuss and reach out to them, asking for a guest spot on the show. While on the show don’t promote your company directly, but mix it in while adding positive talking points to make the conversation flow and feel genuine. (If you pitch your business, you’ll never be invited again. Let THEM tell people who you are, and you be their expert speaker. You’ll impress more people that way.)

25) Use breaking news stories to your advantage

When there is breaking news, television networks seek out experts in fields relating to the event. They interview and ask opinions of these people, while at the same time mentioning the person’s background and company. Start easy with small local news stories and then build up to be featured on the bigger national networks. (You ARE an expert on your product and services, so volunteer to add information — or send them a video!)

Many thanks to Fit Small Business for this exclusive article.  Fit Small Business provides practical advice to small businesses on how to improve their profits and revenues. The site covers a wide range of topics from selecting the best legal structure for your business to reviews of CRM software.

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